Contact Information

Program Co-Director:
Carla Giaudrone
Foreign Languages and Literatures
Armitage Hall, 311 N. 5th Street
Camden, NJ 08102
(856) 225-6115
cgiaudro@camden.rutgers.edu

Program Co-Director:
Lorrin Thomas, PhD
Associate Professor
Department of History
Rutgers University
Camden, NJ 08102
(856) 225-2656 (phone)
(856) 225-6806 (fax)
lthomas2@camden.rutgers.edu

Home » Course Descriptions

Course Descriptions

The following descriptions provide information for courses which are not fully detailed in the program section of the Catalog. These are courses with variable content which may change from year to year, or they are courses which are experimental and may be offered only once or twice before gaining approval to be listed along with other departmental or program courses.

50: 590: 210 INTRODUCTION TO LATIN AMERICAN STUDIES
The course is an introduction to the Latin American area and to the Latin American Studies Program at Rutgers-Camden. Readings and lecturers cover a variety of disciplines and perspectives: Art History, Cultural Studies, Literature, Politics, History and Economics. The aim of introductory studies is to provide necessary knowledge for understanding historical development, demographic characteristics, cultures and societies of Latin America. Guest lectures supplement lectures by the course director. Each participating instructor and guest speaker has a broad and deep level of interest and experience in the region, which serves to enrich the learning process. You benefit from the unique perspectives and insights that each discipline has to offer. The course offers a historical background of Latin America but dwells mostly on the contemporary period. Click here for more details.

50: 940: 121 INTERMEDIATE SPANISH I (LAB REQUIRED, 4 CREDITS TOTAL)
Oral and written practice, giving emphasis to grammar review and reading of selected materials. Pre-requisite: 102 or equivalent (placement on basis of proficiency exam results); required for major and minor. Offered in the fall semester in two sections.

50: 512: 211 LATIN AMERICAN HISTORY I
This course examines the history of colonial Spanish and Portuguese America, beginning in the 15th century with European exploration and the pre-contact civilizations of the Americas, and ending with the independence movements in the region in the early 19th century. Topics covered in the course include the wars of conquest; the ecological, cultural, and economic effects of contact among Europeans, Africans, and indigenous inhabitants of the Americas; colonial labor systems, including slavery; and colonial political structures.

50: 512: 212 LATIN AMERICAN HISTORY II
This course examines major topics in the history of Latin America beginning with the wars for independence from Spain in the early nineteenth century. Drawing on national case studies as well as pan-regional examples, we will explore the themes that have shaped modern Latin America in the past two hundred years: rebellion and wars of independence; nation-building and economic liberalism; slavery and abolition; indios, creoles, and Africans in the construction of nationhood; labor struggles, populism, and mass politics; dependency theory; Cold War politics; and urbanization and migration..

50:070:341. PEOPLES AND CULTURES OF LATIN AMERICA
Cultural and historical background and contemporary situation of the peoples of Latin America including pre-Columbian Indian, European, and African influences. Consideration given to ethnic relations, stratification, religion, family, socioeconomic development, and current economic and political problems.

50:920:316. RACE AND ETHNICITY
The social construction of race and ethnicity in the United States and around the globe. The formation of racial and ethnic identities and the varieties of group interaction, including prejudice, discrimination, assimilation, institutional domination, and change. Changing concepts, boundaries, and interrelationships within a global context.

50:920:326. AMERICAN COMMUNITIES—STRUCTURE AND CHANGE
A look at the social structure of rural, suburban, urban, and metropolitan communities and an examination of the elusive concept of community in light of present-day movements in housing and schools, and other efforts at local self-determination.

50:920:370. GLOBALIZATION AND SOCIAL CHANGE
Prerequisite: 50:920:207 or permission of the instructor. Explores the global nature of contemporary social change. Examines the meanings of the globalization, its central processes, and its institutional and governance structures. Particular attention is paid to the continuing struggle for development in poor countries;the relationship between globalization and inequality; the fate of cultural diversity in a globalizing world; and issues of the environment, health, and human rights.

50:082:485. LATIN AMERICAN ART AND CULTURE
Prerequisite: 50:082:102 or 103 or permission of instructor. Multicultural course. Credit not given for this course and 50:070:485 or 486. Native-American, colonial, and modern art and architecture of Latin America in their cultural context. Material culture traced either thematically or chronologically. Topics change from year to year.

50:082:329. PRE-COLUMBIAN AND MESO-AMERICAN ART
Prerequisites: 50:082:101 or 102 or 103 or permission of instructor. Art and archaeology of pre-Columbian North and South America; major contributions of the Mexican, Mayan, Andean, and American Indian.

50: 940: 203 ADVANCED SPANISH COMPOSITION AND CONVERSATION
Thorough review of basic problems of grammar and vocabulary with focus on nuances of word choice. Study of all tenses of the subjunctive. Oral/Writing assignments increase in complexity and length, involving literary analysis and other topics. The course also includes reading excerpts from literary texts, from which various writing assignments are based. This course is designed to help students make their speech/writing more accurate, organized and to develop a notion of style in Spanish using the reading excerpts as examples. This course also focuses on: 1) the development of argumentation skills; 2) the inclusion of supporting documentation and references to support conclusions; 3) the articulation of a coherent position on a given topic; 4) the editing; and 5) the grammatical points ser/estar, compound/simple tenses, subjunctive, pronouns and prepositions.

50: 940: 301 INTRODUCTION TO SPANISH AMERICAN LITERATURE
This course provides students with general knowledge of and appreciation for the principal authors, works, and movements of Spanish American literature, from the precolonial period to the present. Students will read and analyze texts of several genres including poetry, prose and theater presented in chronological order. In the analysis of these works, we shall discuss not only the literary techniques employed by their authors in accordance with the literary fashions of their time, but also the social, historical, ideological, religious, philosophical, aesthetical and political backgrounds that contributed to their creation. This will allow students to learn the basic components of literary analysis and familiarize them with the origin and evolution of some leading genres and styles. The course will prepare students to analyze literary texts from a variety of critical perspectives and to better express themselves in both spoken and written Spanish. Conducted in Spanish

50: 940: 208 SPANISH AMERICAN CULTURE AND CIVILIZATION
This course will introduce students to the richness and diversity of the cultures of Spanish America from their inception to the present. Such a large project requires a selection of themes that will reveal the political, social and artistic components that contributed to the unique cultural development of Spanish America. Students will have reading assignments from our text which will provide basic background information. This information will be complemented by guided readings on the Internet and film viewings. Students will be responsible for contributing additional information to class discussions found through Internet links or traditional library materials. Class time will be spent predominantly analyzing the material read and discussing its relevance to the development of Spanish American culture and civilization. Conducted in Spanish.

50: 940: 151 CIVILIZATION OF SPANISH PEOPLE
A study of the principal characteristics of Spain and Spanish American countries as manifested in their history, literature, arts, and daily life.
Conducted in English.

50: 070:485 LATIN AMERICAN ART AND CULTURE: MAYAN CULTURE
Roberta Tarbell, Art History and Sheila Cosminsky, Anthropology
An introduction to the cultures, philosophies, and achievements of the Maya; presents Mesoamerican culture from ancient times to the present, examining the historical continuity of Mayan societies and the groups’ current situation. Uses art, history, culture, society, language, and beliefs.
Conducted in English

50:940:291 LATIN AMERICAN CULTURE THROUGH FILM
This course introduces students to life in 20th century Latin America and to the fascinating art of film making in Latin America. Students will learn about Latin American society, geography, politics, and history as well as methods employed by film-makers to narrate and evaluate different aspects of existence in countries ranging from Mexico to Argentina . Various films from different regions, countries, genres and directors will be viewed and analyzed.
Conducted in English

50:352:392 LATINO WRITERS
Jonathan Tittler, Spanish
This course will trace the tradition of protest in Latino writers, beginning with Jose Marti. We will look carefully at questions of “citizenship,” voice, uplift, and cultural conflict. The role of rhetoric and persuasion will important. READINGS: Oscar Zeta Acosta, Julia Alvarez, Gloria Anzaldua, Luisa Capetillo, Junot Diaz, Manuel Martinez, Pedro Pietri, Piri Thomas, Bernardo Vega, among others.
Conducted in English

50: 525: 121 HONORS SEMINAR. BRAZILIAN SOCIETY
Ted Goertzel, Sociology
An introduction to Latin America’s largest society and one of America’s largest trading partners. Brazil is noted for racial diversity, with a large Afro-Brazilian population, and for its contributions in music and sports. Political and social movements and economic development policies. Brazilian literature and cinema in translation. The ecology and social diversity of the Amazon region and other environmentally sensitive areas. The anthropology of indigenous Brazilian groups. Brazilian foreign policy and the impact of globalization. The course meets the Diversity and Globalization requirement and counts towards a minor in Latin American Studies.

50: 509: 480 SENIOR SEMINAR: LATIN AMERICA AND THE US IN THE 20TH CENTURY
Lorrin Thomas, History
This research-centered seminar guides senior history majors in developing a 20-to 30-page research project dealing with some aspect of relations between LatinAmerica and the UnitedStates. Students will be guided in exploring English-language archival collections, available nearby or online, as they investigate some aspect of modern Latin American-US relations, including, for example: The beginnings of US imperialist influence in Latin America following the Spanish-Cuban-American war of 1898; legacies of the 1903 Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine, justifying US intervention as a “civilizing” force in Latin America; the hopes for improved relations inspired by Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “Good Neighbor Policy” beginning in 1933; the fallout from US cold war policies in various Latin American nations, spanning four decades after WWII; and the impact of post-cold war adjustments in US policy directed at Latin America. Although the framework of this seminar concerns relations between these two regions, students need not limit their research to questions of politics and foreign policy. Projects dealing with social and cultural history, gender, labor, and race/ethnicity will be encouraged as well. Students must have a C or better in Perspectives on History (510:299) to Enroll.

50:940:292 Special Topics: Speaking of Film “Hablando de cine” (Winterim Session 2006)
Prof. Ana Laguna
Conducted in Spanish, this is a conversation class for advanced-intermediate students of Spanish intended to provide an introduction to the world of Spanish and Latin-American film. The course supplies the historical, cultural and cinematographic background of Oscar-awarded/nominated films that have been selected for their artistic qualities and cultural transcendence.

“Race and Ethnicity in the Americas: A Comparative History”
Lorrin Thomas
This course takes a comparative approach to examining the history of racial and ethnic difference in North America and Latin America, from the sixteenth through the twentieth century. Focusing on texts written in those time periods – so that we really experience the language, imagery, and ideas surrounding racial and ethnic difference – we will explore the following issues: how race has been defined throughout the history of different regions of the Americas; how constructions of physiological and cultural differences have changed over time; how hierarchies of racial and cultural difference have been used, in various periods, by various groups, to further political agendas; and how the everyday experience of racial and ethnic identity has differed across time, place, and group in the history of the Americas.

50:516:350 The Caribbean
Lorrin Thomas
From its colonial beginnings in 1492 to the present. The course focuses on slavery and independence; 20th-century inter-island politics; relations with the U.S.; migration and cultural change since the 1960s.

50:830:203 Psychology of Minority Groups (Summer Session)
Prerequisite: 50:830:101 or 235. An examination of the personality patterns, psychological dynamics, and social-cultural styles that emerge from the encounter of minority groups with American culture. Attempts made to define the major psychological events within minority groups as they relate to developmental processes, attitudes, perceptions, and identity patterns.

50:920:316 Race and Ethnicity (Summer Session)
The social construction of race and ethnicity in the United States and around the globe. The formation of racial and ethnic identities and the varieties of group interaction, including prejudice, discrimination, assimilation, institutional domination, and change. Changing concepts, boundaries, and interrelationships within a global context.